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Published: September 11th 2014
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum southern Poland 8 September 2014
On arrival to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, we took a guided tour around both sites which took from 11.30pm to 3.30pm. Our guide was excellent and gave us so much information. This is a memorial and museum in Auschwitz, Poland, which includes the German concentration camps Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. It is devoted to the memory of the over 1.5 million murders of Jews from 22 countries, in both camps during World War ll. The museum performs several tasks, among them research into the Holocaust.
The area covers 191 hectares, twenty of them in camp Auschwitz I and 171 in camp Auschwitz II. Since 1979 the former concentration camp has belonged to the World Cultural Heritage and more than 25 million people have visited the museum. Last year, 1.5 million people visited the Museum.
The areas of remembrance
are Auschwitz 1, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and the train ramp between Auschwitz and Birkenau, which was used as a "debarkation-stop" between 1942–1944. We took the bus to cover the three kilometres between Auschwitz and Birkenau. The museum is situated in several original buildings.
After the Soviet Union handed over the
camp to Poland in 1947, the parliament declared the area to be a museum on July 2, 1947. Simultaneously the first exhibition in the barracks was opened.
As soon as the tour started, so did the horrific facts and figures. There were over 200 photos that were found after the closing of the camps in 1945. These photos were secretly taken and is evidence, along with survivors testimonies, that have gone towards charging those who lead the murders. It was too bad that Hitler didn't die like the Jews.
I was coping Ok until we walked into a long room which had tons of human hair behind glass. I felt sick. There were 100s of pairs of classes, artificial limbs, shaving equipment, shoes, luggage and other personal effects. There were even 100s of little pairs of shoes. Just terrible. I even saw a pair sandals that were like the ones I used to have - oh my skin crawled!. The Jews were asked to strip and were told they were to have a shower before being resettled. They were then walked into a 'shower/holding room' where they were expecting to receive clean clothes and then continue their journey.
Unfortunately, the doors were locked and the lights were turned out and they were gassed. After 30 minutes, the doors were opened and bodies loaded in through the crematorium. Their ashes were thrown into the rivers and ponds.
There was also medical experiments carried out on women and twins, all of whom were later murdered by injection.
The crematoriums were blown up by the Nazis before the outside world could see the evident of these crimes.
Birkenau has virtually been untouched since it was closed down.
I will leave the photos to tell the rest of the story. We went back to our motor home in silence.
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